Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do I get homeschooling credit for this child?

Today I wrote the transcript for my third child.  It hardly seems possible that our third (Hudson) will be graduating from high school.

When Hudson was a little tyke, he did everything imaginable to insure that I knew he was an only child.  And if tried to teach him anything on the homeschooling front, he made it clear that he wanted to "do it by his own self"  pretty much all of the time.

So, how do you homeschool a child like this?  Quick answer: the busy routine.

Anything that involved an outside activity or an outside-of-the-home teacher, he thrived under.  He was our youngest "hurried child" going to Cubbies, gymnastics, swim team, scouts, music lessons, candy-math, piano  all at age 10 or earlier.  

At around the same time, I enrolled him in a literature class for young people.  I still had no idea if he could actually read.  I know. I know.  bad.  But I figured that he would either 1) ask me for help or 2) teach himself how to read.

When I asked his teacher how he was doing, she just gushed about him.  "Of course he reads!!!" He participates all the time in class!! "

Slack jawed, I made some mental notes.  The first one was, "Hudson reads"..  and I looked at his work.  And I purposely did not help him at all with his homework.  I didn't hover to see that he got it done.  I just wanted him to figure it out.  Plus--what good would that have done?  !!

Another mental note: independent learner, does write, does not like to be fussed over..

O.K. doke.

Many homeschooling moms can not  and do not handle this type of kid.  I could have very easily put him into a private school, but it never occurred to me.

The conflict: the highly controlling mother with a hands-off style of learner.  You have to have one hand on the wheel and the other hand  in the air, preferably saying "whatever" a lot.

It's not that you give up and do "nothing" about his education.  But you become a taxi driver for the many outsourcing activities that are "his school".  And you don't throw academics out the window.  You outsource everything you can.  Without our co-op, we could not have homeschooled him all the way through.

The academics (for the past 9 years?) have been highly outsourced, in group settings or self taught.
What is my role in this?

I pay for a lot of stuff. I check in with the many adults that are involved with our children on a regular basis.  I ask "how's it going?" every so often.  I monitor the bat caves (their rooms) and make a lot of food. I help them select classes that will be good for their preparation for college.  I buy groceries and host parties at our home, so their friends will feel welcome.

But really-- I don't do a lot.  So, I'm not sure that I get credit for homeschooling "the H" as we call him. Either way, I've learned the most about the expanding perimeters of my "box" of what I call acceptable practice through homeschooling this child.  He has completely burst the mold and has done it with such great flair.  This hat-doning, tie-wearing, multi-talented "hipster" child is conquering his own little world.  And I'm "that mom" who sort of rode the wild horse of education for him.

I doubt he'll neither be the president of the United States or a homeless person because of all that we have done or not done for him.  But he will carve out some greatness from his experiences, his education, his upbringing, his talents, his friends and his many, many future goals of greatness.  Way to go, Hud.


2 comments:

sara said...

Congratulations on the milestone!

We often call our Harry "H" or "Big H." :)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Congratulations! Kids are such individuals... well done, Mom :D

Julie